Together with internationally renowned Central Saint Martins (CSM), which is part of part of University of the Arts London (UAL), Renault cooperated to present a unique competition for their students, giving them the opportunity to develop and share their own ideas about the future of mobility.
There were nine groups that participated in the challenge, including more than 25 Central Saint Martins students. From the three finalists, the jury selected the winner, an all-female team called Oura.
The winning entry, the Renault Oura, is a vehicular "suit" that gives the wearer/rider the feeling of weightlessly flying through a cityscape while driving on the road. It gives the driver an opportunity to avoid potential accidents by using autonomous technologies. Constructing the vehicle, student designers drew inspiration from an image of a ballet dancer lifting their partner. Similarly, the wearer/rider is gracefully held and supported by a flexible structure of woven steel, carbon fibre and silicone; suspended between spherical wheels driven by electric motors, and stabilised by an array of inbuilt gyroscopes.
During motion, pivots around the rider's waist allows them unrestricted movement, offering the driver the ability to shift their sitting position from a fully reclining to gliding. The driver receives all the information via an interactive virtual reality(VR) display within the helmet's visor, incorporating a sound system, infotainment, work, physical activity interfaces and safety interfacing. Through the interface, the driver can opt for either manual driving mode or an autonomous "glide".
The runners-up projects were SYEO and Phantasy. SYEO (Share Your Extra Office) is a vehicle that could act as a mobile office with seats that can be inflated into different configurations and was designed to more successfully combat high London rents.
Phantasy project, on the other hand, imagines a lively, playful vehicle for daily trips to and around the city. The interor can be changed to match the mood of its passengers, who may be going for a night out, to work, or to play. The colourful, configurable three-wheeler party or commuter urban car was inspired by product designer Verner Panton.